Freddie Hamilton and Eddie Lack, we hardly knew ye.
In addition to his role as Dougie Hamilton’s older brother, F. Hamilton often served as the Flames’ 13th forward, a frequent healthy scratch who could play at a replacement level when called upon.
Lack, meanwhile, was intended to be the Flames’ backup goaltender. He quickly proved things weren’t going to work out, but in fairness, he didn’t get much of a chance, either.
Let’s get one thing straight: Hamilton has some value, just not much of it. He doesn’t totally sink his team’s performance when he’s on the ice, nor does he provide much benefit, either. He’s just kind of… there, as he was for the Flames this past season, drawing into eight games: twice in October (before Mark Jankowski was called up), in four of a five-game stretch in late November (replacing Curtis Lazar for three of those games), and twice in December (one more Lazar replacement).
All numbers are with the Flames only.
|Games played||Goals||Assists||Points||TOI/GP||5v5 CF%||5v5 CF% rel||OZS%||PDO|
Hamilton was asked to play pretty much exclusively a low minutes defensive role: something anyone is going to have a tough time doing. His most common linemate was Troy Brouwer, whose performance with Hamilton didn’t really vary; Hamilton away from Brouwer, however, plummeted. He didn’t thrive, and he wasn’t irreplaceable, so when the time came – specifically, on Jan. 3 – the Flames waived him.
The Coyotes picked him up the next day. He played eight games for them, frequently sitting as a healthy scratch, though he got to average roughly three additional minutes per game. He did not score any points for them. Also, it’s not exactly like the Coyotes are a good team themselves; that Hamilton could barely crack their lineup seems to be an indication that he may be done in the NHL.
The good news for him? He last played in the AHL in 2015-16, scoring 43 points in 62 games for the Stockton Heat. That’s a level he can clearly play at – and perhaps a reminder that just because someone has good AHL numbers doesn’t mean they’ll translate to the NHL, especially if they’re a veteran.
The Flames traded Keegan Kanzig and a sixth round pick for Lack, the promptly bought out Ryan Murphy, and a seventh round pick. The logic behind the deal was sound: they needed an experienced backup goalie (nobody was ready to hand any keys to Jon Gillies or David Rittich in October 2017, nor should they have been), and Lack had proven in the past that he could put up good numbers.
There were two full seasons of separation by that point, however, and with the Flames, he failed to show much of anything – though he also really didn’t get the chance.
All numbers are with the Flames only.
|Games played||Save percentage||ES save percentage||PK save percentage|
His first game came five games into the season, when Mike Smith was lit up by the Senators. Down 5-0 with 12:02 left in the contest, the Flames brought Lack in. He gave up one goal on six shots, but the game was pretty much over by that point. The Flames had a game the very next day – their first back-to-back of the year – but Smith needed redemption, so he played (and won).
Lack’s first start came 10 games into the season, the second of a back-to-back. He did not play particularly well, surrendering four goals on 28 shots in a 5-2 loss.
Lack’s third game came 17 games into the season, when Mike Smith suffered a mysterious injury between periods, forcing Lack to fill the net for the second and third frames. He gave up two goals on 15 shots, surrendering goals in the third period after the Flames had taken the lead, but holding on well enough in the end to secure the 7-4 win.
Lack’s fourth game of the season came 18 games in, when Smith was injured and he was the de facto starter. They were in Detroit. He gave up five goals on 15 shots before finally getting the hook 24:27 into the game, forcing an unfortunate Gillies to come in just so somebody would be in net for a game that was already over. Lack was never seen in a Flames jersey again, as he was waived Nov. 23. The team later engaged in a minor league swap with the Devils for Dalton Prout on Dec. 30.
Lack played three and a half games for the Devils. He posted a .903 save percentage: certainly not great, and in line with his Carolina numbers, but definitely better than what he had in Calgary.
Basically, the Flames didn’t really ever trust Lack to play for them. When he was in net, he validated their suspicions.